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The Biometrics Commissioner is independent of government. His role is to keep under review the retention and use by the police of DNA samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints.

The post of the Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material (‘the Biometrics Commissioner’) was established by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The statute introduced a new regime to govern the retention and use by the police of DNA samples, profiles and fingerprints.

The Biometrics Commissioner is Professor Paul Wiles. He was appointed in June 2016.

The commissioner is independent of government. His role is to:

  • keep under review the retention and use by the police of DNA samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints
  • decide applications by the police to retain DNA profiles and fingerprints (under section 63G of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984)
  • review national security determinations which are made or renewed by the police in connection with the retention of DNA profiles and fingerprints
  • provide reports to the Home Secretary about the carrying out of his functions

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